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Petition on “free Port” Plan Will Need Backing of Congressional Leaders

Authoritative circles today stated that whatever may be done about giving refugees from Europe temporary asylum on United States soil all require the backing of House and Senate leaders. This applies equally whether the action is taken by President Roosevelt or by Congress, it was emphasized. The statement was made in connection with the suggestion that the United States establish free ports” as temporary haven for Jews who can still be rescued from occupied Europe.

In favor of executive action is the fact that the State Department still has, issued, more than ninety percent of the entrance visas authorized under the Immigration Law. Proponents of the “free ports” plan say that it would be entirely within the power of the Executive to issue those visas on a temporary basis. Official circles believe that there is no legal obstacle to executive action. However, affirmative action by Congress would place the matter beyond any question or doubt, they point out.